On this page you will find information about managing your health while abroad. Health care and concerns are unique to each person, please review the information carefully and reach out to PIC if you have any questions or require additional support.
Managing Ongoing Health Conditions
Students can manage ongoing health conditions while studying abroad. There are several steps you can take to prepare for your experience:
- Early in the planning process, speak with your physician about your plans. Share your travel destinations and the duration of time you will be abroad. Some destinations may be a better fit depending on the infrastructure and quality of medical care available.
- Set up a clear health care plan with your physician that you can potentially share with a physician abroad as needed.
- Share your needs with your program provider early. They can assist in arranging access to treatment so that everything is organized before you arrive at your destination.
- The Padnos International Center can assist in working with your program abroad. If you want help, let us know!
Do you have a chronic illness? Check out an article from GoAbroad.com on studying abroad with a chronic illness.
Visiting the Doctor Abroad
Medical systems and structures can vary widely throughout the world. It is not uncommon for students to feel anxious about visiting the doctor while studying abroad. Here are a few tips to prepare students for a doctor or hospital visit:
- Know where your nearest hospital or doctor is located so that you are familiar with where you need to go in case of emergency or illness.
- Find out if the nearest hospital has English-speaking staff. If not, find the nearest hospital that does have English-speaking staff if you are not fluent in the language(s) of the country where you are studying.
- Medical perspectives can vary from country to country and are connected to a countries’ culture. Keep an open mind if the structure of your appointment is a little different from what you would expect in the United States.
- Review tips and guidelines from the CDC for more information.
Mental Health and Wellness Abroad
Studying abroad is a new experience and it is common to have feelings of stress and anxiety. You will likely have a sense of ambiguity and experience unexpected events and circumstances which can add to the stress level. You can prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for this experience:
- Review information from Mobility International on how to prepare to go abroad with a mental health condition.
- Learn how to prepare yourself for the experience.
- Read about experiences of other students. It is important to understand that you will have challenging days while abroad and this is completely normal. It can help you to feel less alone if you recognize that other students have felt the same way.
Centers for Disease Control Travelers' Health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides important information for travelers based on their destination. Go to the CDC website to review this important information for your study abroad destination.
The CDC also provides important advice for students studying abroad.
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is responsible for directing and coordinating health related matters within the United Nations system. The WHO website provides detailed information about health concerns and statistics in specific countries. Visit the WHO website to learn important health-related information about your study abroad destination or any other countries you may visit while abroad.